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John Baldessari
John Baldessari circa the late 60sCourtesy of John Baldessari

Arts and Culture interviews of the year

The most rewarding talks with boundary-pushing icons across art, books and politics on Dazed this year

JOHN BALDESSARI

West-coast artist John Baldessari emerged as fashion’s oldest and most august muse this year when Hedi Slimane worked with him on his AW14 show. Isabella Burley interviewed the 82-year-old modern art giant in LA.

NAN GOLDIN

There’s few self-respecting Dazed journalists who wouldn’t have bitten off an editor’s arm for a chance to interview the inestimable Nan Goldin. Books editor Stuart Hammond stepped up to the plate, and delivered this incredible account of an afternoon with the great art photographer.

PETR PAVLENSKY

There are few artists who quite explore Russia’s body politic with the same extremity as Petr Pavlensky. A Muscovite who shot to fame after nailing his genitals to Red Square and literally sewing his mouth shut, we interviewed him shortly after he sliced off his earlobe in protest of human rights abuses in his homeland.

AI WEIWEI

Another artist with a let’s-call-it-tricky relationship with his homeland’s leaders is Weiwei. Having spent many years dodging his passport-tearing-up, imprisoning policestate, he took time in his blockbuster schedule to answer some questions.

OCTAVIA ST LAURENT

For Transgender Remembrance Day, we were given a beyond moving piece – the star of Paris Is Burning’s last ever interview.

UNITED NATION OF EROTICS

During our landmark States Of Independence project, we took time out to host a roundtable between the world’s most important and boundary–pushing erotic magazines. The resulting conversation was a United Nations summit on the state of the world of sex-positive publishing today.

STORYBOARD P

One of the world’s truest and most total outsider artists is the man they call the Basquiat of street dance – Storyboard P. Having collab’d with Flying Lotus, Jay Z, and made a videoseries for a Dazed Visionary Takeover, we had a wake ‘n’ bake call with Brooklyn dancer this Autumn.

FEMEN’S INNA SHEVCHENKO

A protestor that re-defined both feminism and public culture this decade was the Ukrainian feminist group’s Inna Shevchenko. Here she told her extraordinary story.

LAURA POITRAS

Laura Poitras – though technically a filmmaker – reshaped the public discourse on 21st century civil rights (as well as the language of art-documentaries) with her searing, extraordinary documentary CitizenFour. A ground-breaking real-time look into the explosive moment when Edward Snowden upended the world’s most powerful state, we spoke to the exiled activist-artist around the release.

ED ATKINS

A Londoner whose CGI art broke through this year with a standout show at the Serpentine, we interviewed Ed Atkins right at the start of 2014. His statement: “I like it when you feel risk, when you haven’t taken the advice that it’s dangerous to confuse ‘professional’ with ‘private’” feels like a theme of the year, for better or for worse, and you can read the whole thing below.